Wednesday 21 March 2018, 13:27

Anniversary edition and a first for women's football

  • Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup 2018 to take place on 9/10 May​

  • Women's teams involved for the first time

  • Six different countries represented

For the first time ever, women will also get to take part in the Blues Stars/FIFA Youth Cup at this, the 80th edition of the tournament. Six women’s U-19 teams from Switzerland and abroad will battle it out alongside ten male youth teams, meaning that there will be plenty of football on offer for fans of all ages on 9 and 10 May!

Valencia, Inter, FC Zurich, GC, Young Boys, Blue Stars – these household names all conjure up visions of sparking football, be it men’s or women’s. FIFA President Gianni Infantino in person expressed his wish for FIFA to promote women’s football more intensively, and this unique list of participants will be doing their all to prove that women’s football is indeed going in the right direction. It has certainly been growing steadily in recent years in Switzerland, and as such the big stage of the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup is coming at just the right time.

The organisers will of course also be showcasing plenty of top men’s teams at this anniversary edition. Internacional are coming all the way from Brazil and are one of the leading lights in the country at the present time. Braga are representing Portugal at the tournament for the first time, Espanyol will be showing what Spain’s youth football has to offer, while FC Koln from the German A-Junior Bundesliga will be a force to be reckoned with.

Dinamo Zagreb have long been a fan favourite in Zurich, while the sixth foreign team sees West Ham United representing England, as they did the previous two years. From Switzerland, Young Boys’ youth team will once again be making the journey to Buchlern, at a time when the club’s first team are hot favourites to win the Swiss League. Host club Blue Stars will also be there of course, along with FCZ and Grasshoppers from Zurich.

An overview of the men's teams S.C. Internacional Porto Alegre (S.C. Internacional) Sporting Clube de Braga RCD Espanyol de Barcelona (RCD Espanyol) Dinamo Zagreb West Ham United 1. FC Koln FC Zurich Grasshopper Club Zurich BSC Young Boys Berne FC Blue Stars Zurich

An overview of the women's teams ASD Femminile Inter Milano Valencia CF FC Zurich Grasshopper Club Zurich BSC Young Boys Berne FC Blue Stars Zurich

The tournament has attracted teams from around the globe right from the very first edition back in 1939. Many of the biggest names in club football have been represented here, including top Spanish outfits Real Madrid and Barcelona, Argentinean legends River Plate and Boca Juniors, and then such European heavyweights as Juventus and Bayern Munich. Guangzhou Evergrande from China have also been involved in the past.

Manchester United are the record-holders at this invitational tournament with 18 wins. Only four teams from outside of Europe have lifted the trophy thus far, the first being Brazil’s Sao Paulo in 1999. They successfully defended their title a year later, while Argentina’s Boca Juniors also have two tournament wins to their name. Gremio Porto Alegre and Atletico Paranaense (both from Brazil) have each lifted the trophy once.

Plenty of players who have gone on to become global stars have cut their teeth at this now legendary event in Buchlern. Former icons David Beckham, Pep Guardiola and Markus Babbel came here as juniors, as well some of the biggest names on the world stage today including Nani, Kaka, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Admir Mehmedi.

The up-and-coming talents from this year’s ten youth teams will no doubt be hoping to add their names on the list of famous players who made their bow at the Blues Stars/FIFA Youth Cup.

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